Scooter registration and the law

this is a question re scooter registration, change of ownership and the law.

what I want to know is is there an actual legal system in Viet Nam that constitutes vehicle registration ? and also how do the insurance companies view it when you tick yes you'll be riding a bike covered by the insurance policy.

for eg when a bike is brand new it has to be registered with a blue card. Is this a one off registration or is it good for the life of the vehicle i.e you don't have to pay an annual renewal fee ?

what happens with a change of ownership ? do transfer papers have to be submitted to a department ? does the vehicle have to be re registered in your name or is the simple hand to hand transfer of the infamous "blue card" plus a document saying you bought it enough ? (as everyone seems to think it is !).

Are the insurance companies satisfied with this level of registration (the passing of the blue card only) or do you have to physically re register the bike in your name to be considered riding a legally registered bike and hence covered by insurance. If so does it mean that every tourist or expat who has ever ridden a bike in Vietnam has never been really been covered by their insurance in that they are riding a bike that is not properly registered (as the only thing that has transpired is the handing over of the blue card ?


When we bought a bike new it was registered in the name of the dealer who basically just gave us a bill of sale and the blue copy.  My wife was able to buy insurance with just these.  She kept these plus the insurance card with her and I kept photocopies in my wallet which seemed OK with every policeman who ever stopped me.

I think the reason that many people do not register in their own names is due to the ridiculous house book based system of permanent residency.  Because of that, Vietnamese can only register a bike at their permanent home town residence.   They then get new plates reflecting their origin.   (I think Jaitch, who was unfortunately banned, posted a full list of the license plate number codes for each province that should still be  somewhere on this board.)   It seem that people from other provinces seldom change their permanent residency unless they purchase land and establish a multi-generational family, and instead obtain a certificate of temporary residence with the local cảnh sát.  You can imagine if a someone from Hanoi buys a bike in HCMC.  They would have to ride it (or send it as freight on a bus) all the way to Hanoi to register it and then get it back to HCMC again.  For all I know the actual law may require recording transfers but I suspect this is why the police tolerate things the way they are.

As far as insurance, ???

spoke to a relatively large Vietnamese insurance company. they aren't interested in the scooter registration and do not ask for it in a claim. They only want you to provide a valid license, but if less than 50cc and no licence they do want a copy of the blue card.

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